"The Launch Pad is not an academic exercise. It’s exciting and it’s heaps of fun!"
What was your work situation before the Launch Pad?
I was working in client services at a creative agency.
How were you feeling about your work?
I was burned out and feeling like I’d reached a career plateau.
There were aspects that I really liked about marketing, coming from a curiosity about people, culture and ideas, and working in a field that was constantly changing.
However I never really felt like I was suited to my role in client services, and the working environment was incredibly intense for something that very rarely had much of an impact on the world.
Why did you decide to join the Launch Pad?
I’d been circling round and round about the possibility of changing career for years, and was well aware of Careershifters.
I’d managed to get far enough in my thinking to get to a vague idea around doing something more people-oriented. I booked a HR course which felt like it was close to the right idea, but not THE right idea.
Then the pandemic hit and I was put on extended leave leading to redundancy, which gave me the time and space to commit to the Launch Pad.
What had you tried previously to do to make progress on your career change?
I had individual coaching sessions at different points and started to express goals around changing career, but never got far enough into the journey to unravel exactly what I wanted.
Ultimately, my career in advertising served me well up to a point. It enabled me to move countries, gain sponsorship and gain permanent residency. It gave me challenge, excitement, opportunities to travel, and lifelong friends.
For a long time I convinced myself I could fulfil my urge for people development in my role as a manager, until I eventually planned for a lateral move into an agency HR role, which was the only change I could see at the time, and nowhere near enough of the leap that I needed.
What were your reservations or skepticism about the Launch Pad?
I wondered whether the Launch Pad would focus more on the inner work (on skills and identity), and wasn’t expecting it to also be so practical and experiential.
Also, I wanted something that would propel me into real opportunities that exist in the world, and I wasn’t sure that this would be possible within the scope of an eight-week online course.
What was the experience like?
The course took me on a journey of discovery through connecting with other people, rather than through self-reflection as I had expected.
It felt like a journey of reconnection – I hadn’t realised just how isolated I had become, and how much my self-confidence had plummeted, after years of being stuck where I was.
What were the highlights?
The course sparked some wonderful conversations with close family and friends, a community of people from completely different career backgrounds to expand my horizons, and gave me the courage to reach out to people I never would have otherwise contacted for insight.
What were the toughest moments?
Building resilience in the face of rejection.
Learning how to put myself out there and not always be met with a positive response, or any response at all.
It really underlined how intentional change comes with a lot of hard work, and getting used to living with an element of risk and uncertainty about the future.
What was the impact on you?
Emotionally, the course was transformative.
I came out the other side with a much better idea of what I can offer and what I value.
Practically, the course put a rocket under my career change and helped me to identify a niche that I didn’t previously know existed, which ultimately led to the launch of a new business.
What on the course led to that impact?
Specifically, the sessions on networking led me to discover advocates of the B-Corp movement, and to meet some people who had launched a successful career in B-Corp consulting.
A couple of the contacts I made during that stage of the course have become close mentors and collaborators.
Where are you now in your career?
I’ve built a portfolio career that spans the areas of HR that I am most interested in – learning and development, and purpose-driven organisational development.
I co-run an impact consultancy that helps small businesses with the changes they need to make for B-Corp certification, and also work part-time as a career coach at a training organisation, helping students of intensive courses to land the right role in their new careers.
How do you feel about your work?
I have a much clearer sense of purpose now, around creating positive change for people and organisations, and I know how my day-to-day work contributes towards delivering on it.
Being a part-time business owner has been a steep learning curve and has opened up a new world for me as I have connected with communities of purpose-driven entrepreneurs, which is so inspiring.
And on a day-to-day basis, my role as a coach feels so much closer to being “me”. I am in flow when in conversation with people asking questions that help them to think through their direction, and set them on their path to doing work that they love.
What’s been the impact of your shift on your wider life?
I have much more flexibility now, and live a calmer life that has room for exercise, weekends away and studying for short courses in the evenings instead of habitually blowing off the stress of the day in the pub – or spending the entire evening in the office on deadline.
Having a portfolio career also means I have more variety and less intensity in my working weeks, and don’t feel like I am “owned” by a role or a company.
It’s definitely made me much more entrepreneurial in my thinking, helped me to develop a growth mindset, and given me a sense of curiosity and love of learning that I bring to my friendships and hobbies, as well as to my work.
How did the Launch Pad help you get clear on and move into your new career?
When I've spoken to people who have changed careers without the help of a program like the Launch Pad, there is often a long journey of self-discovery mixed with serendipity that evolved over time to form their new direction.
The Launch Pad creates an environment that hacks this process through a series of exercises promoting active self-reflection, alongside social experiments to explore what this looks like in practice.
Over the course of the eight weeks, I was able to better express what I wanted to be doing every day, as well as what I'm interested in, and what impact I wanted to have in the world. This new clarity and focus helped me to get out there and make the connections I needed to make it happen.
What would you recommend to anyone considering the Launch Pad?
I would definitely recommend anyone considering the course to think about how they can create space for it.
I was really fortunate to do the Launch Pad at a time where I had the time to focus on it. It would have been really difficult to give the course the dedication it needs while working in such an intense role in my previous career.
I would also manage their expectations in that they might not have “solved” their new career path during the eight weeks of the course. It will set up the conditions for change, and set in motion the process for gradually making it happen.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Get involved and enjoy the process.
The Launch Pad is not an academic exercise. It’s exciting and it’s heaps of fun!
You can find full details about the course on our dedicated Launch Pad page.